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Idoreyin Akpan- I used to be a pro-Palestinian and pro-BDS person, but recently shifted to supporting Israel.


I was anti-Israel for a long time from following up on the alleged human-rights violations that I've seen on the news, mostly about the Gaza Strip armed conflict, the claim on the Golan Heights, and the West Bank settlements, and of course treating Arabs as “2nd class citizens”. However, as I dove
into this matter, it became much more of a complex situation than I thought.
Gaza:
From what I've read, Israel withdrew its military and settlements unaimously from Gaza in 2005, yet the BDS continue to call it “occupied land”.
Israel's border wall surrounding the Gaza Strip was made in response to Hamas affiliated terrorists infiltrating Israel. Not to mention Egypt also has a border wall on its side of the Gaza strip. It's more about security against terrorism than it is about segregation as the media often portrays.
Israel bombed Gaza multiple times, but Hamas always made the first strike in those wars. Another thing to note here is that Israel provides food, water, medicine, money, and construction equipment to help the Gazans rebuild their cities, but Hamas instead hordes the material to build more infiltration tunnels and fund more on its military wing to continue their attacks against Israel. So Israel is not the one who is responsible for these wars to begin with.
Golan Heights:
Israel captured the Golan heights from Syria in the 6-Day War, and it was a high-ground strategic point that put Israel at a military disadvantage in case of another Syrian invasion. So Israel at the moment, still controls the heights until a formal resolution with Syria could be made. However, Benjamin Netanyahu and many Likud members argue that the Golan heights should be incorporated into Israel as a justifiable gain from war.
Adding to the fact that Israel offered Israeli citizenship to the Syrians still residing in the heights, along with all the time the Israelis took building up the heights economically and industrially since the end of the Yom-kippur war, leaving the Golan Heights is like cleaning up your lazy sibling’s former room and then leave when he says he wants it back and messes it up again.
West Bank:
The West Bank was never a sovereign Palestinian territory to begin with. It was captured from Jordan in the 6-Day War.
Since then, Israeli Jewish settlements were made in mostly the rural and virtually un-populated lands in the West Bank, yet all these settlements regardless of location are deemed illegal by the UN and condemned. However, when The State of Palestine was officially declared with Israel's recognition in 1994, the IDF withdrew from much of the West Bank cities, including Bethlehem and Jericho, so that they can be self-governed by a newly independent Palestinian government.
Palestinians from the West Bank can be given permits to work in Israel, may seek medical treatment in Israel, or to shop for consumer goods. But like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is also known for multiple terrorist infiltration into Israel, and therefore Israel has a wall around it's eastern border at the West Bank.
Background and security checks are always required for any Palestinian wanting to enter Israel, and nightime curfews are placed on Palestinians in the West Bank near or in IDF stations or Israeli settlements. For most Palestinians, these security precautions are not fair and discriminatory, however even Israeli Jews are required to go through these security checks, no exceptions. Even in Israel, Jews, Christians, Druze, Buddhist, and Muslims are all required to go through security checks, whether it be a supermarket, movie theater, school, or even a paid parking-lot; all are required, so these security checks should not be viewed as unfair or discriminatory.
The settlements in the West Bank are arguably contradictory, but like the Golan heights, many Israelis argue that many of these settlements were originally uninhabited areas and that the West Bank was never sovereign to begin with since it was Jordanian territory from 1948-1967 when Israel took over control; therefore not a problem. Many of these settlements are also in some of the most Holiest sights of Judaism, and many Israeli Jews feel close connections to these ancient cities and towns as part of their heritage, so it is very difficult to withdraw from them, and the Palestinians living in these towns and cities are generally unhindered by the presence of Jews there.
Palestinians in Israel:
20% of Israel’s citizens are Arab, are given equal rights as Jews, and many Arabs serve in Israel’s government and military. These Palestinians are not given curfews like the West Bank.
Israel has given citizenship to many Christian Palestinians fleeing the West Bank from Muslim persecution.
Palestinian Christians also dominate the highest in education and socio-economics in Israel.
There's also a lot of talk about how Israel carries a genocide against Palestinians living in and around Israel, yet the Palestinian population in and surrounding Israel has skyrocketed in the past few decades.
From studying the conflict for over 2 years I changed my perspective of Israel as a human-rights violator to a nation with a major security crisis, that it sometimes takes unfair means to keep themselves protected.